Review of JOE BAER Cowboy Songs written by
Marvin O’Dell, Around the Campfire at Classicheartland.com
“I’m going to tell you something about my good friend Joe Baer - and if we wanted to leave it at this, it could suffice as a review of his latest album, “Cowboy Songs.” Here it is: Joe Baer is one heck of a cowboy singer. Yep - that pretty much sums it up. Honestly, I don’t know of anyone that sings a true cowboy song any better than Joe. See, there’s no pretense when Joe sings. He’s an imitator of no man; he never comes across as a slick crooner. He doesn’t work hard when he sings to create some kind of stage show that will “wow” an audience. Shoot, he doesn’t even work up a sweat. He hardly moves. He just stands there (or sits), tips his head back a bit, and lets loose with some of the finest, natural, real cowboy sounds that you’ll ever hear pass through the throat of anyone claiming to be a cowboy singer. In other words, when he sings, he’s just Joe bein’ Joe, doin’ what Joe does best.
Hear the pathos that Joe drops into “The Cowboy Song” - a song that you’d swear was written just for him after you hear him sing it. “Night Rider’s Lament,” a modern-day classic, is given the genuine cowboy “feel” by Joe. He can sing ‘em high energy as evidenced with his interpretation of “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky,” and he can sing ‘em pretty. His beautiful yet simple rendition of “Corn, Water, and Wood” proves that point.
My favorite song on this project is “Lay Down, Little Dogies.” This tongue-in-cheek tune simply intrigues me. I”ve never heard it sung by any other cowboy singer, and I don’t think I want to. The first time I heard Joe sing it, I wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. It’s the rare song and singer than can invoke that response.
Here’s my prediction: once you hear this CD, you’ll find yourself playing it over and over because you’ll recognize right away that this is not commercial “fluff” - this is the real thing. You may even find yourself compelled to build a campfire in your backyard just so you can listen to the music in the true spirit with which Joe Baer sings it.
I like honesty in music (I prefer it over any other defining characteristic one might give to songs, singers, songwriters, etc.) and I like honesty in a man - which gives me a couple of good reasons to genuinely like Joe Baer, the singer, and Joe Baer, the man. Get to know this man through his music. You’ll be glad you did.”